The Menu

A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Horror
  • Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, John Leguizamo, Judith Light, Rob Yang, Reed Birney, Janet McTeer, Aimee Carrero, Paul Adelstein, Mark St. Cyr, Rebecca Koon, Peter Grosz, Christina Brucato, Adam Aalderks
  • Director: Mark Mylod
  • chrismwolfe - 13 January 2023
    Entertaining absurdity that doesn't fully land
    While I found this one solidly entertaining, I don't know if it quite landed the way that I wanted it to. It was certainly intriguing and engaging, but at some point almost felt a tad repetitive and a bit preachy.

    The shining star of this production was most certainly the acting. Awesome casting and everyone did a great job... by far my favorite part. The movie also looked beautiful with some really lovely shots.

    If this was one thing I would definitely say unpredictable as they kept you guessing where it was going, therefore keeping you engaged. It wasn't my favorite but I definitely liked it. I would still recommend this, maybe not to everyone, but I would.
  • tylerkom - 12 January 2023
    Very good but not great
    Oh yes, this was a fun one. Don't be fooled by the trailers and movie previews, The Menu is a (very good) dark comedy through and through. The film pokes fun at the sophisticated snobbish foodie culture that we see a lot of today and does not take itself too seriously in the meantime.

    The writing does almost all of the legwork for the enjoyment of the film. It is smart and witty and devolves into something dark and hilariously satirical. It is an absolute joy to see the characters interact at their separate tables and learn more about what drives them and where they come from. The writers make great use of 'show don't tell', not giving us more than a couple minutes of exposition at the beginning of the film. The acting by Ralph Fiennes is great; he does an excellent job at portraying the grand chef that takes himself a bit too seriously. Anya Taylor Joy is pretty decent in the lead with no obvious issues and she exactly portrays the character she is meant to be. Perhaps a bit too pretty though from a casting decision standpoint. The other lead in Nicholas Hoult is a bit of a red herring and there is not much to say because his character turns into a walking joke by the end of the film.

    The issues of the film come from the lack of creativity beyond the writing. It is all serviceable but I can't help but think that so much more could have been done. The cinematography is completely generic (although serviceable), the color palette is muted (and generic), the set and costume design is average and perhaps a bit too on the nose (excusable for a satire film, I suppose). I can't help but wonder how interesting the film could be if it was a bit more daring in any of these other categories. I think it could have been incredible in a one-set 12 Angry Men-esque bottle scene or with more interesting cinematography.

    So instead of being great, it is simply very good. Everyone who is into food culture or has hobbies that they are passionate about should watch this film. The critiques are cutting and yet unserious when they come from an unreliable critic. Or don't worry about how good the film is at all and just enjoy the ride...